Sorry - I accidentally posted this in the “Mechanics” topic the first time. My main concern is whether my son’s arm is in a good position at front foot strike, because I’ve read that late arm action can lead to too much stress on the elbow. Any other tips on his overall mechanics would be great too.
His arms a little late and there’s two things I’d see that I would work on to fix it. First, let’s look at the early pronation he has in his forearm at hand break. His thumb is pointing back towards centerfield at the bottom of his arm swing. Excessive pronation can add more stress to the arm and some argue that it also helps to cause timing issues, such as the the arm being late. I’d like to see his thumb pointed in the complete opposite direction, towards his back hip, when he breaks his hands. It’ll help facilitate a smoother arm action and not cause him to pull up towards his shoulders in an inverted W pattern (for the record it doesn’t look like he get’s his elbows above his shoulders into a full on W, but it’s not far off).
Second, and I think this is the biggest contributor to his late timing, is that he doesn’t get his hips working down and out early in his windup. Instead, he comes to a balance point and then almost drops straight down before getting his momentum going towards the plate. This causes him to not get his hips moving ahead of his hands. He’s not creating good separation and in turn he’s rotating his upper half at the same time he rotates his lower half. He’s probably losing out on some velocity by doing this as well as adding more stress to his arm.
Thanks, Slider97. I’ve read/heard that both of those are mechanical problems, but I don’t have the experience or the “eye” to recognize that he was doing them. Do you know of any drills or other things we can do to work on fixing those?
The early pronation is probably something you’re just going to have to drill and drill and drill, it needs to be conscious. He needs to be aware of how he breaks his hands and where his thumb is pointing. Eventually it will become muscle memory, but for awhile it’s going to be tough to change consistently. As for the hip lead there’s a few drills out there like the Hershiser drill or roll-ins and rocker drills that you can use to train and develop feel for efficient stride mechanics. Luckily both of these problems are both semi easy to develop feel for (at least compared to some other mechanical issues) and can be fixed from watching video and repetition after repetition.
Slider97 - I was re-reading your advice and I realized I’m not 100% sure I understand the issue with his lower body. Would you mind explaining that in a little more detail, or in real basic terms that even a non-baseball dad would understand?